Nigeria must restructure its university and secondary school education system to turn out employable graduates and regain respect of world community.
This he said becomes imperative because of the present ranking of Nigeria’s best university as 800th in the world.
Delivering the seventh convocation lecture of Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, Kwara State, on Saturday.
Babalakin, who is also chairman, Agreement Renegotiation Committee of Nigerian Universities, said that the nation must start its education system all over again.
Dr. Babalakin, who called on both state and federal governments in Nigeria to provide adequate funding for secondary and university education system, said that quality products from secondary school system would ensure good and quality university graduates.
He decried present situations in Nigerian secondary schools where he said there was over population of students in classes without adequate facilities to ensure quality learning.
Babalakin, Chairman, Bi-Courtney Group of companies and philanthropist, advised that the nation could promote free education if affordable. He, however, said that quantity should not be sacrificed for quality.
He charged the Kwara State Government to use KWASU as a pilot scheme to restructure education system in Nigeria by providing adequate funding, saying that a situation where grant was not provided to the university in the last five years did not augur well for quality education system.
He also lamented the present situation whereby expatriates are being employed instead of Nigerian graduates while global organisations like Cadbury were no longer managed by Nigerians unlike in the past due to perceived low quality of graduates.
“There’s hope but we have to start afresh. We must have an educational system that’s globally competitive. It’s not sufficient to fund a university, it should be properly funded. The world is not waiting for us. The world will start to respect us if we make our universities world class. Even when we say there’s no money, I believe that with ingenious application, the money will become available,” he said.
Also speaking, vice chancellor of the institution, Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, said that major challenge of the school is funding, “as for five years now, the university has not received subvention from government, not towards salary, not towards overhead, not towards nothing!”.
The VC said that the school has established a foundation with contributions from philanthropists that will also manage it with zero intervention from government and the university management.